Signs of Rabies Home- and Pet-Owners Must Understand

Anybody who owns a home or a pet likely has a fear of rabies. This disease is rampant in the animal world and can spread rapidly. Therefore, you must know the many signs of rabies. Understanding these symptoms can help you better understand how to approach this situation. It can also help you diagnose this dangerous virus before it spreads too far and can help animal control experts manage it in your community.

Rabies Takes Time to Develop

The scariest thing about rabies is that it doesn’t always show immediate signs after it is contracted. Typically, it goes through a lengthy incubation period before obvious symptoms are spotted. As a result, an animal may seem reasonable or even healthy for weeks and months after contracting the virus. The same is true of people who contract the disease. This problem often makes treatment more complicated. Additionally, rabies is often inevitably deadly without the earliest possible treatment.

Animals exposed to rabies typically experience discomfort around the site of the bite, which may cause them to itch the area excessively. Unfortunately, these early warning signs can be easily mistaken for a problem such as fleas, ticks, or dry skin. As a result, animal owners often don’t realize that their pets have this disease. They will especially not notice local animals exhibiting signs of rabies until it has become quite apparent. Therefore, understanding these symptoms is critical to protecting a community.

Typical Signs of Rabies

As rabies progresses, animals will begin showing more prominent symptoms. These signs vary depending on the animal and its species. Some don’t show obvious problems until late in disease development. Others show reactions much sooner. Remember: humans with rabies will also show these symptoms. Like with animals, rabies is almost always fatal in people. As a result, you must spot these common rabies signs to avoid contamination:

  • Lethargy – Animals with rabies often have low energy levels and struggle to stay active
  • Flu-like symptoms – Fever, vomiting, and anorexia are all familiar with rabies
  • Problems swallowing – Rabies may cause swelling that makes it difficult to eat and breathe
  • Behavior changes – Sudden mood swings, aggression, or self-mutilation may occur with rabies
  • Paralysis and weakness – As rabies spreads, it may cause paralysis in an animal
  • Foaming at the mouth – Animals with rabies often foam excessively at the mouth

It would help if you also watched out for behavior that is unusual for a species. For example, raccoons and skunks with rabies may be active during the day, which is uncommon for each species.

Moreover, animals that are usually non-aggressive could lash out at people or pets, potentially infecting them. This danger is one that you must take seriously. As a result, when you notice any signs of rabies, it is critical to take immediate steps to ensure that you and your family are safe. Animal control is usually the best step.

What to Do If You Notice a Rabid Animal

When you notice the signs of rabies, you need to take immediate steps to protect yourself and your family. Start by collecting your pets and children and bringing them into your home. Please stay away from the infected animal. However, track its progress from inside your home as it wanders through the area. Make sure to contact your neighbors, as well, to warn them of this danger.

Then, immediately contact animal control experts with experience in this field. These professionals will come to your home and assess the situation. Then, they will trap or destroy the animal to ensure that it doesn’t affect you or your family. Never, ever try to handle or kill a rabid animal on your own. Doing so is an unnecessary risk.

Reach Out to Us for Help

If you notice any animals with visible signs of rabies, please contact us at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control right away. We can handle animal removal for a myriad of animals, including bats, squirrels, groundhogs, opossums, birds, skunks, and raccoons. Our professionals service many areas throughout Maryland, including Anna Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, and Frederick counties. So please call [Direct] to learn more about how we can protect you and your family.